A Guide on Changing DNS Servers in Windows

Domain Name System or DNS is one of the essential facets when it comes to the Internet. DNS makes sure that the Internet works smoothly as well as user-friendly. It pulls up the information which users need quickly and efficiently.

In layman’s terms, the DNS is like the phonebook for the Internet. Users get access to data online via domain names. These web browsers communicate by utilizing IP addresses. The Domain Name System converts a particular IP address into a domain name so the web browsers can take care of pulling up sources from the Internet. Almost all devices and computers get connected to a local network by using DHCP WITH DNS servers that are set up automatically through Windows.

Whenever you make changes in the DNS servers in Windows, you will be able to modify the servers that Windows uses to convert hostnames into an IP address. An excellent example of this is www.facebook.com as the hostname and as the IP address.

Particular types of problems on the internet can sometimes arise because of DNS servers. To be able to solve this, you can change the DNS servers so it can help you in troubleshooting the issue. Depending on what you select, the following are the methods to override automatic DNS servers.

In this article, we will cover override instructions for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

Changing DNS Servers in Windows

Here are the steps that you need to follow to be able to modify the DNS servers used by Windows. Keep in mind though that the steps are different, which will depend on the Windows version you are running.

Step 1: Pull up Control Panel

Click on the Start Button, and then you should type in Control Panel in the search bar to pull it up. If you are not using a keyboard, check out the bottom of the options list in Start, then go to the Windows System folder. If you are running Windows 8.1, pull up Power and Menu and then follow it up with Step 5.

Step 2: Choose Network and Internet

This can be found as one of the options when you go to the Control Panel. Keep in mind that if the Control Panel is displaying small or large icons, the Network and the Internet will not be visible. Select the Network and Sharing Center instead and then go to Step 4.

Step 3: Access the applet in the Network and Internet window

Applets are the individual parts found in the Control Panel of Windows.

Step 4: Choose Change adapter settings

When you have accessed the applet in the Network and Sharing Center window, choose the option Change adapter setting.

Step 5: Check the Network Connections window

The connections to your computer are indicated under the window of Network Connections. Keep in mind that wireless connections are tagged as Wi-Fi. Moreover, wired connections are labeled as Local Area Connection or Ethernet.

Note: If you cannot find the correct connection, you can change the window’s view into Details. You then go to the column labeled as Connectivity and utilize the link that indicates Internet access.

Step 6: Click on the network connection that you intend to modify

From the list in the Network Connections window, double-tap or double click the Network Connection that you want to modify.

Step 7: Go to Properties

Click on Properties on the Status window. Please note that some Windows versions would require you to type in the password of the administrator. This happens if you were not using an admin account when you logged in.

Step 8: Look for the section called “This connection uses the following items”

Using the Properties window, check out the options to the section labeled as “This connection uses the following items” and do one of the following.

  1. Choose the TVP/IPv6 or Internet Protocol Version 6 to modify the settings of the IPv6 DNS server.
  2. Go to TCP/IP or Internet Protocol—or TCP/IP or Internet Protocol Version 4 to choose the option for IPv4.

Step 9: Go to Properties

  1. Looking at the window called Internet Protocol Properties, select Use the following DNS server addresses.
  2. Change the current IP addresses of the DNS server into new ones if custom DNS servers are modified or configured in Windows.

Step 10: Modify the DNS server

  1. Click on the Option to use the following DNS server addresses and type in the IP addresses for both the Preferred and Alternate DNS server.
  2. You can also change the preferred DNS service from a particular provider with another secondary DNS server. You can also put in several DNS servers by utilizing the fields in the DNS tab. To do this, set in several DNS servers by choosing the Advanced option.

Step 11: Finalize the changes you applied

  1. After doing steps 1 through 10, click on OK to apply the changes made on the DNS server, then exit the Control Panel.
  2. Check out various sites using your web browser so you can verify that the changes made into the DNS servers work correctly. If the pages get pulled up quickly, it should tell you that your new DNS services are correctly functioning.

Changing the DNS Servers via Command Prompt

Using Command Prompt, changes in the Windows’ DNS server can also be applied. If you prefer typing in commands on the command line, this approach is for you.

  1. Click on Open an elevated Command Prompt, type netsh, and then click on Enter. This will pull up netsh > prompt wherein you need to put in “interface IP show config,” then click on Enter.
  2. Locate the connection of the network that you wish to change the DNS server. Type in, interface IP set DNS "Ethernet0" static and then click on Enter. You have to shift Ethernet0 by typing in your connection’s name and together with your preferred DNS server.
  3. Check out the BAT file or Command Prompt’s command line to initiate DHCP to be used by the connection. Then change the command line’s static <ip> portion with DHCP.
  4. The netsh> print shows up when you complete the command. Finally, exit the Command Prompt.

Some Other Information About DNS Settings

Configuring customized DNS servers for your computer only covers that particular computer alone. It does not apply to the network’s other devices. This means that when you can configure a specific Windows laptop with a set of DNS servers and make use of a completely different batch of DNS servers on a tablet, phone, or desktop.

The settings for DNS apply to the closest device that they are set upon. This means that when you configure one batch of DNS servers on your router—your phone and your laptop will make use of the same DNS servers when connected to Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, if a router has an inherent set of servers and the laptop uses a different set, the laptop will then utilize a DNS server that is different than the phone and various other devices that use the router. This is especially true is a custom set is set up on a mobile phone.

Keep in mind that the settings of DNS correctly stream down a network if every device is configured to utilize the DNS settings of the router, and not the ones inherent to them. In other words, if six devices are included on a particular network, there is a chance that all these six devices are utilizing different DNS servers.

Emil S.

Emil is a Data & Design Specialist with a degree in BS Information System, specializes in Admin Support & Creative Design.

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